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How do Dual SIM Phones Work?

Do you remember the first mobile phones? Big, chunky things, with aerials sticking out the top, and too big to comfortably fit in your pocket. The evolution of the smartphone has come a long way since then. 

During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s mobile phones were becoming more and more popular. They were still expensive, and considered a luxury, rather than a necessity. They were for security, so that parents would know where their children are. Used for emergencies in case the car broke down. Often one mobile phone shared between families, and whoever was out at the time would take it with them “Just In Case”.

Today you can see 3 year olds with their own phone. Parents giving phones to toddlers to watch YouTube as a parenting tactic. Teenagers must have the latest version of the best phone, to stay online and engaged in Social Media, and connected to their friends. What was then considered a new thing is now a typical everyday thing in our society. 

Indeed, a lot has changed! 

In fact, mobile phones as we know them,they have only been in existence in the last twenty years. Given that short time frame, it makes you wonder what is coming next, and how soon it will get here. Smartphones have taken over our lives, working for us, socialising for us, supporting us at home, work and play.

We used to have one phone for home and one phone for work. This was costly, inefficient and took us back to the bulky phones of old. So the Dual Sim phone was invented. A phone capable of having 2 sim cards, so we can switch seamlessly between work and private life, just at the swipe of your thumb. 

Practical? Maybe the better term to say is amazing since this kind of technology was not what any of the people in the nineties could have predicted.

 

Brief history of mobile phones

Going back to the year 1908; The history of mobile phones can be traced to when a United States Patent was issued in Kentucky for a wireless telephone. 

It was only in 1940 when mobile phones were invented. This happened when engineers working at AT&T founded and made cells for mobile phone base stations. It is not what you are imagining because the very first mobile phones were not really mobile phones at all. Instead, it was a two-way radio that enabled people like cab drivers and emergency services to communicate. Back then, people using the first invention relied on base stations with separate cells (it is when signals are being passed from one cell to another) thus, the first mobile phone networks includes usage of a very powerful base station that can cover a much wider area.

Before Apple, the Motorola company on April 03, 1973 first introduced and mass produced the first handheld mobile phone. It was later in 2000 when the first phone to include dual SIM functionality was invented and known as the Benefon Twin by Benefon. In fact, the owner of the company named Jorma Nieminen was at the time leading Nokia’s mobile phone section. Soon after he and two colleagues parted ways with Nokia, and decided to build their own empire, called Benefon, in 1988. 

 

What is the story behind dual-SIM mobile phones?

An excerpt from the press release of Benefon said, “Using two SIM cards in a single phone will provide our customers with a smart and handy way for combining the economies of our Citikka subscription and the global coverage of GSM services.” Which is indeed true and effective not just in marketing their products but also in promoting their company’s vision and mission to the community. 

 

What are the benefits of Dual SIM?

The name tells it all. You can use one mobile phone that holds two SIM cards. Simplicity at its best. Usually, people use this type of product to connect with their colleagues and family who contact different network service providers or connect with people abroad. However, there is more to it than that… well, have you ever asked yourselves if you are maximizing the dual-SIM mobile phone? 

  • For travel – you are not entitled to a specific network because dual SIM phones means you are free to register to any network provider you want. Therefore, you are free to use a travel SIM or local SIM when you travel internationally. Thus, it is free from blockage because the dual SIM smartphone is not locked to a particular network, therefore you will not be required to change your SIM while traveling to other countries.
  • Division of personal and business life–  having a SIM card dedicated for business and a separate SIM for personal use is one of the nicest things about dual SIM phones. Actually, such mobile phones let you know which line a call or text is coming through. You are able to differentiate between business and personal calls before answering or replying to an sms.
  • Reimburse easily – if you are conscious about your budget, you can also identify how much you spend for work when you have a separate SIM for it. 
  • Make the most out of the deals – every SIM provider has their own niche for marketing their product. If you have a dual SIM mobile phone, you can hit two birds with one stone by signing up for different plans that offer awesome deals for you. 
  • More storage – having a dual SIM means you can store different data in separate spaces which gives you the opportunity to get a back-up just in case. 
  • Ease of carrying – you do not need to buy two mobile phones to have different SIMs. This means less hassle carrying it wherever you go as you only need to carry one phone. 
  • Overcoming missing networks – missing network coverage when you need to make an emergency call? We’ve experienced that and it is annoying and stressful. Luckily when you use a dual SIM mobile phone, chances are higher of having a fallback plan to make that call. This probably is the greatest plus-point for dual SIM especially if you are traveling in a place with poor network connection. This happens if you are in a rural area since the size of some countries are so big that there is no one mobile network that has complete coverage. 

 

It is not always sunshine and rainbows. No matter how amazingly convincing dual SIM works, we should also be aware of the disadvantages it brings.

 

What are the problems of Dual SIM?

  • Consumption of battery – if you do not have any power bank, you better start considering buying one when you opt for a dual SIM mobile phone because this feature requires two transceivers for each SIM, that comparatively consumes more battery life.  
  • Low developer support – living in a world where almost everything is done online, a lot of communication applications begin to evolve.Sadly, many apps still do not have a feature to support dual SIM mobile phones. Take for example is Whatsapp which is tied to one phone number. This kind of situation is uncomfortable for people who use mobile applications for work.
  • Confusion – unless you memorize and are able to distinguish things quickly, you could have a problem using dual SIM. Using dual SIM could cause confusion to users especially when an unknown caller is coming in. If you aren’t used to using dual SIM, you can encounter mistakes of replying using your personal SIM to a business message or vice versa especially if there is no way to see which number is set as default except from the Settings like in iOS 13. 
  • Choose whether SIM or microSD – for android users, the insertion of dual SIM and microSD shares the same spot in the mobile phone. This means, you get to choose if you will use another SIM card or you will expand your phone’s storage. You have to spend more on adding built-in storage space.This limitation can be annoying still, this case does not affect all phones of this type. 
  • No same time usage – you use the SIM one at a time (depends on what phone but is not applicable to all of this type) for many which is a drawback to those who want both numbers active. The process is time consuming. If you are a busy person you will need to activate the other SIM if you want to stop using the other. 
  • Physical health risks – as we know, smartphones are a mixture of receiver and transmitter, having the maximum power output of 3 Watts. Keeping a Smartphone near your head, the radiation may place our health at risk leading to insomnia, fatigue, depression, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and even brain tumor.

 

Now that we’re aware of the pros and cons, we can now weigh whether having a dual SIM phone is convenient or not. The choice is up to you but if you are in business almost every time, using a dual SIM mobile phone will suit your busy lifestyle! No time to check multiple mobile phones? Have a dual SIM one. Don’t want to give out your personal number? dual-SIM setup, allows you to use both a temporary, local SIM for data and local calls while keeping your personal SIM for family emergencies and other private uses. 

The only thing that should bother you right now is the price it will cost you to get one. Fortunately, the price depends on how lavish you want your device to be. There are mid-range devices that are available for £219 like Moto G6 but if you want a high-end smartphone like OnePlus 6, you can spend over £500 with “Dual SIM 4G” capabilities. There are many offers of SIM free smartphones that include quality features aside from having dual SIM. In the end, if you want to start using such a mobile phone, the cost will rely on the brand, specifications, and your bargaining ability to get a deal that suits your budget. 

Dual SIM mobile phones have become part and parcel of the present-day professional environment and personal life. We cannot deny that aside from being convenient, it is also cost-effective. 

 

Are you required to subscribe to one SIM network for dual SIM?

No. You have the freedom to choose which network provider is best for you.You are not compelled nor required to use the same SIM from one company since a dual SIM mobile phone is not locked to one network. 

 

How cost-effective is a dual SIM mobile phone? 

As we said earlier, you do not need to purchase multiple phones to separate your personal and business number however another reason why it is cost-effective is because it gives you the power to choose packages from providers. Although not all countries can offer this freedom due to different requirements needed covered by the law. Unlike in the United Kingdom, people have the ability to freely move between mobile operators so they can also easily take their current number with them which is again, supported and has been part of UK law since 2003. Such legislation has only recently been introduced in some countries, or in some cases not at all that when consumers in these places have moved to a new network provider, they need to secure a contract to get a new card. 

 

Can you get a random SIM for your dual SIM phone? 

There are different types of dual SIM and not all functions the same. In fact, there are two main versions of Dual SIM phones ‘Passive’ and ‘Active.’ 

 

Passive Dual SIM or in standby; a passive SIM is a phone that has a single, shared antenna for both SIM cards. As described, the other SIM card inserted in your phone would spend most of its time being in a passive standby mode, when you begin using one of the SIM cards for either voice or data wherein, the other automatically becomes inactive. Only after you finished using the first SIM card can you use the second. This was included as one of the problems of dual SIM (passive) since you are not able to SIMultaneously download data using one SIM card while making phone calls with the other. 

 

Active Dual SIM is the obvious opposite of the passive one. This gives you the benefit of having two antennae in each SIM slot. You can use the two SIM at once. The most obvious disadvantage of this type of SIM is the cost. There is an extra cost in having two antennas built into your phone. Also, everything doubles like increased battery consumption, as the power draw for cellular connections is effectively used a lot. Another one is the availability, like in the UK where it is almost impossible to find Active Dual SIM.

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ConXhub offers the same yet innovative offer when it comes to using different phone numbers for your different responsibilities. With them, you can enjoy unlimited telephone numbers all on local rates and appear in 60 countries locally so that you can be local to your customer base, even if you are making an international call. 

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